ELECTRONIC TRUCKER LOGS AIM TO KEEP HIGHWAYS SAFER

In an effort to combat driver fatigue, a new rule was enacted in December 2015 that requires truckers and bus drivers to record their time behind the wheel electronically. According to U.S. News & World Report, this measure is expected to save 562 people from injuries and prevent 26 fatalities each year. Truck drivers in Tennessee and throughout the nation will have until December 2017 to implement these new changes.

The rule was, however, met with opposition by some truckers. Companies who hire drivers, opponents argue, can use the logs to push drivers to maximize their time driving, possibly resulting in increased instances of drowsy driving. In addition, small companies and drivers who own their own rigs will have to bear the cost of implementing this electronic system.

Historically, drivers have been required to keep a log of their activities since 1938. However, paper logs can be easily manipulated and some deceitful truckers were known to keep duplicate sets of logs, producing the fake log whenever an inspector or investigator was encountered.

According to the National Law Review, the new electronic logging devices must do the following:

  • Sync with the truck’s engine so as to know when the truck was in use
  • Keep track of how many hours a driver is on the road
  • Be accessible to law enforcement who wish to inspect the log
  • Be resistant to tinkering or manipulation
  • Keep track of the vehicle’s geographic location

With these new measures in effect, it is hoped that not only will instances of driver fatigue be reduced but fewer violations will occur and the number of accidents involving trucks will be reduced.

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